Nathan HartungA defining characteristic of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team this season has been its ability to adapt to the situation at hand whether it be a defensive battle or a shootout.It was no different Saturday afternoon when Wisconsin (10-0) found itself locked in a physical battle with in-state rival Marquette (5-4) at the Kohl Center.No matter how the season has gone for Marquette and Wisconsin before they meet, the I-94 rivalry game can be depended on to be a dogfight as the Badgers’ 6-6 record against the Golden Eagles under Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan would suggest.“You can look at any rivalry and it’s always going to be a possession game,” Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. “Stylistically how we play and how they play is always going to balance out and it always comes down to loose balls and first to the floor and 50-50 balls and offensive rebounds, put backs and-ones. It boils down to ‘how tough are you?’”When looking for a model of toughness, Wisconsin’s players need look no further than their four-year starter and guard battling back from ACL surgery Josh Gasser.Ryan agreed when asked about where his team’s toughness started in its matchup with Marquette answering simply “Josh Gasser.”“The guys saw what he went through last year and you can’t tell me there isn’t a guy in that locker room that didn’t take notice of the hours and the discipline that Josh put in,” Ryan said. “We got some other guys out there that have a lot of grit, but you have to start somewhere and that’s where it starts.”The combination of physicality and the new defensive rule implemented by the NCAA this year made for a lot of foul calls and consequently foul trouble for both teams.“We’re working at it,” Gasser said of adjusting to the new rules. “Some games are different than others. You just have play with the way it’s going. We never really used our hands on defense, coach teaches it that way … You just have to really concentrate sometimes and stick to what we do.”By the time 10 minutes had gone by in the first half, a total of 12 fouls had been called, seven of which went on Marquette, putting Wisconsin in the bonus with still 10 minutes to play in the opening half.Things started to get dicey for the Badgers when both of their big men, Nigel Hayes and Frank Kaminsky, picked up their second personal fouls within six seconds of each other. This forced Ryan to sub in junior forward Evan Anderson and fifth year senior forward Zach Bohannon, who had played a combined total of just five minutes coming into Saturday’s game.“I thought Evan and Zach did a great job of not letting it slip away,” Ryan said. “We were not in a hole when we were down those last three or four minutes. We were hanging tough.”But Anderson’s opportunity was short lived as he picked up three fouls in more than two minutes of play which put him back on the bench in favor of Bohannon.Wisconsin was able to limit their foul calls in the second half picking up just six, while penalties continued to be a problem for the Golden Eagles in the second half, getting called for 13 fouls with two players, Jake Thomas and Juan Anderson, fouling out.As time began to wind down in the second half, the intensity ratcheted up resulting in a quicker tempo and several loose balls. With hustle plays highlighted by Gasser and Traevon Jackson, Wisconsin gained the edge.“50-50 balls are what we pride ourselves on and what we always want to get,” Gasser said. “Loose balls and even rebounds we consider 50-50 balls, so we want to come up with most of those. Just those plays can really turn the tide of a game and it was good that we got a few of those and then limited theirs. I think that was a big point to the game.”The Badgers were able to weather their foul trouble and win the battle of toughness with Marquette, giving them their 10th-straight win of the season in a game that lived up to the billing of the I-94 rivalry.“That’s why they’re 94-7 in November and December. They’re not beating themselves, you have to beat them,” Williams said. “The last two years, what was the difference? You could say it was our will. You could say today it was their will. It wasn’t tactical.”
A 16-year-old, Darlingboy Philips, dubbed ‘Dad’ was crushed to death when he accidentally fell from a low-belt truck this past Saturday, amid rejoicing over Grand Bassa County’s triumph in the National County Meet after 24 years of title-drought.The truck, with the inscription ‘Grand Bassa County Development Fund,’ rolled over the lad and crushed his chest and smashed his skull near the entrance of the Doris Williams Sports Stadium.He had slipped while he and friends were hanging on the vehicle’s tail-end after the program when the car was leaving the Doris Williams Sports Stadium.That celebration in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, marked the official celebration of the county’s two trophies won in the 2013/2014 National County Meet.The teenager’s accidental death was linked to connection of ‘neejee’ activities.In Liberia ‘neejee,’ is usually interpreted as witchery and is always generally associated with the people of Grand Bassa County.The Traffic Coordinator of the Grand Bassa Police Detachment, Inspector Stephen B. Kpoeh, told the Daily Observer Sunday morning that Darlingboy died instantly after he was run over by the truck on Saturday. He had been pronounced dead after he was rushed to the Liberian Government Hospital in Buchanan.Inspector Kpoen said the truck driver, Samuel Barlingar, 48, has been investigated and is being detained by Police to avoid ‘unnecessary’ mob violence.He disclosed that from the preliminary investigations, Driver Barlingar is not guilty, in accordance with Section 10.107 of the Police’s Traffic Law of Liberia; the late Darlingboy was hitching a ride without the driver’s knowledge.Section 10.107 of the Police Traffic Law, under the subtitle Soliciting Rides, reads: “No person shall stand on any roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride and from the driver of any vehicle.”The Chief of Traffic of Grand Bassa Police Detachment, Inspector Allen Suah, told the Daily Observer, that after a conference with Grand Bassa’s Superintendent Etweda Cooper, they instructed the family to bury the body yesterday (Sunday), because the county is not responsible for the boy’s death and burial. They promised to send a representative to meet with the family afterwards.The late Darlingboy was laid to rest the day after his death (Sunday) due to his severe injuries.The deceased was a 3rd grade student of Lower Hardlandsville Public School and was helping to support his family through the sale of used clothes.Darlingboy was the oldest of four sons from his parents, who are both alive. He was living with his uncle, Alphonso Philips, in Jeko’s Town, Buchanan. His parents are Timothy and Sundaymae Philips, and they are living in the interior with the deceased’s brothers.Mr. Robert Guah, a relative of the late Darlingboy expressed disappointment and frustration over the absence of county authorities and members of the Grand Bassa Legislative Caucus, up to the time of burial.Meanwhile, friends from Jeko’s Town have expressed their condolences to the bereaved family; they urged the family to investigate the death of Darlingboy, which they described as mysterious.“How come out of ten people hanging from the truck, he alone fell and was killed instantly? There must be something behind it,” a man only identified as Nyensuah stated.According to Nyensuah, about three weeks ago, one Ben Roberts met a similarly mysterious death. “We think that it is not normal; there must be witch or neeje activities behind them; we know it is all happening because elections are around the corner,” Nyensuah lamented.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
WASHINGTON – It took political Washington a good six months to catch up to the fact that something significant was happening in Iraq’s Anbar province, where the former-insurgent Sunni tribes switched sides and joined the fight against al-Qaida. Not surprisingly, Washington has not yet caught up to the next reality: Iraq is being partitioned – and, like everything else in Iraq today, it is happening from the ground up. 1. The Sunni provinces. The essence of our deal with the Anbar tribes and those in Diyala, Salahuddin and elsewhere is this: You end the insurgency and drive out al-Qaida and we assist you in arming and policing yourselves. We’d like you to have an official relationship with the Maliki government, but we’re not waiting on Baghdad. 2. The Shiite south. This week the British pulled out of Basra, retired to their air base and essentially left the southern Shiites to their own devices – meaning domination by the Shiite militias now fighting each other for control. 3. The Kurdish north. Kurdistan has been independent in all but name for a decade and a half. Baghdad and its immediate surroundings have not yet been defined. Despite some ethnic cleansing, the capital’s future is uncertain. It is predominantly Shiite, but with a checkerboard of Sunni neighborhoods. The U.S. troop surge is attempting to stabilize the city with, again, local autonomy and policing. This radically decentralized rule is partition in embryo. It is by no means final. But the outlines are there. The critics at home, echoing the Shiite sectarians in Baghdad, complain that an essential part of this strategy – the “20 percent solution” that allows former-insurgent Sunnis to organize and arm themselves – is just setting Iraq up for a greater civil war. But this assumes that a Shiite government in Baghdad would march its army into the vast Anbar province where there are no Shiites and no oil. For what? It seems far more likely that a well-armed and self-governing Anbar would create a balance of power that would encourage hands-off relations with the central government in Baghdad. As partition proceeds, the central government will necessarily be very weak. Its reach may not extend far beyond Baghdad itself, becoming a kind of de facto fourth region with a mixed Sunni-Shiite population. Nonetheless, we need some central government. The Iraqi state may be a shell but it is a necessary one because de jure partition into separate states would invite military intervention by the neighbors – Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. A weak, partitioned Iraq is not the best outcome. We had hoped for much more. Our original objective was a democratic and unified post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. But it has turned out to be a bridge too far. We tried to give the Iraqis a republic, but their leaders turned out to be, tragically, too driven by sectarian sentiment, by an absence of national identity and by the habits of suspicion and maneuver cultivated during decades in the underground of Hussein’s totalitarian state. All this was exacerbated by post-invasion U.S. strategic errors (most importantly, eschewing a heavy footprint, not forcibly suppressing the early looting, and letting Moqtada al-Sadr escape with his life in August 2004) and by al-Qaida’s barbarous bombing campaign designed explicitly to kindle sectarian strife. Whatever the reasons, we now have to look for the second-best outcome. A democratic unified Iraq might someday emerge. Perhaps today’s ground-up reconciliation in the provinces will translate into tomorrow’s ground-up national reconciliation. Possible, but highly doubtful. What is far more certain is what we are getting now: ground-up partition. Joe Biden, Peter Galbraith, Leslie Gelb and many other thoughtful scholars and politicians have long been calling for partition. The problem is how to make it happen. Top-down partition by some new constitutional arrangement ratified on parchment is swell, but how does that get enforced any more than the other constitutional dreams that were supposed to have come about in Iraq? What’s happening today on the ground is not geographical line-drawing, colonial style. We do not have a Mr. Sykes and a Mr. Picot sitting down to a map of Mesopotamia in a World War I carving exercise. The lines today are being drawn organically by self-identified communities and tribes. Which makes the new arrangement more likely to last. This is not the best outcome, but it is far better than the savage and dangerous dictatorship we overthrew. And infinitely better than what will follow if we give up in mid-surge and withdraw – and allow the partitioning of Iraq to dissolve into chaos. Charles Krauthammer’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!